Arsene Wenger should have left the club after the FA Cup final, says Lee Dixon.
Wenger had the opportunity to walk away from Arsenal in the summer when his contract was expiring. Defeating Chelsea in the FA Cup final and lifting the trophy for a seventh time would have been an excellent way to bow out, but Wenger signed up for two more years.
Lee Dixon, though, believes this was a mistake. Speaking after Arsenal’s 3-1 loss to Manchester City on Sunday, the former defender told talkSPORT: “They are very good with the ball and pretty poor without the ball – and you don’t win anything like that.
“You nick a cup but don’t challenge for the big honours if the balance is wrong. I honestly think after the FA Cup, after that amazing performance against Chelsea, it was time for him to go: ‘you know what, I am going to step back from it’.
“I am a big fan of his. I played for six years under him. I like the man as a human being and what he did when I was there was brilliant for me.
“He had a structure and he brought all that flair on top of what we did as a defence. But the mentality has changed. It has flicked into a more attack-minded, less defensive-minded team, and the balance is all wrong.”
There are certainly many fans who felt the time was right for a fresh start in the summer. Although Arsenal were winning the FA Cup regularly, they were getting no closer to the Premier League title and making no progress in the Champions League.
Wenger, though, was never going to let go easily, and signed a contract until 2019. This season, Arsenal look no closer to major honours. They’re already 12 points behind Manchester City, and Sunday’s game made the gulf in class painfully apparent.
The team hasn’t played that well that season, even in the games that they’ve won, and could really do with a fresh start. When that that new start will be, though, is anyone’s guess.